By DEWAH Fabrice TEH
The Head Coach of Gambia senior men’s national football team, Tom Saintfiet says his team will continue tapping inspiration from historic performances of hitherto underrated nations like Zambia, Denmark and Greece when they face Cameroon on Saturday January 29 in the quarter finals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
In a pre-match press conference at the Japoma Stadium in Douala on Friday January 28 ahead of Saturday’s crunch duel, the Belgian trainer said since the arrival of the Scorpions in Cameroon for their maiden participation in the final phase of the AFCON, the team has been tapping inspiration from the likes of Zambia that shocked the African continent to become African Champions in 2012.
Tom Saintfiet said his side has also been benefiting from historic performances of European nations like Denmark and Greece that became surprised winners of European Nations Championship, Euro in 1992 and 2004 respectively. Denmark defeated then three time world champions, Germany to become champions of Euro 1992.
The trainer who became the Head Coach of The Gambia in 2018, said he will be employing the same tactics when they face five time African champions, Cameroon Saturday with hopes of making proper use of the motivation.
“Before each of our games, we watch past videos of one of these great nations. Before our opening game against Mauritania, we watched games of Denmark when the team became champions of Europe.
Before our match against Mali, we watched games of Greece that became champions of Europe in 2004.
We watched matches of Zambia before we face Guinea Conakry and we will be looking forward to doing the same when we play Cameroon tomorrow.” Tom Saintfiet declared.
“The heavier pressure is on Cameroon.”
Despite clearly citing Cameroon as the outright favorite of the game between the Scorpions and Indomitable Lions, Tom Saintfiet reiterated his side will be making maximum use of the possible 20% chances his team will be having in the game.
“We are all 100% sure that Cameroon is at least 80% favorite of tomorrow’s game but we will try out best to make good use of our 20% chance in the team.”
Saintfiet insisted his team has very little or no pressure facing the five time African champions following the already impressive record inked by the debutants.
“I think the heavier pressure is on Cameroon because the team is having a lot of expectations from its home fans. Unlike Cameroon, we don’t have anything to loose in the game tomorrow so we will only play our game freely.”
Impressive first timers.
Africa Cup of Nations debutants, The Gambia will face Cameroon at the Japoma Stadium in Douala on Saturday January 29 in the first quarterfinals of the ongoing 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nation.
The landlocked West African nation like Cameroon, are unbeaten in the current campaign. The team finished the group stages ranked second in Group F with 7 points, seating behind Mali on goal difference after defeating 2004 winners Tunisia and Mauritania and a goalless tie with the Eagles of Mali during games at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium.
Team Captain, Pa Modou Jagne and mates swept aside Guinea Conakry at the Kouekong Omnisport Stadium at the round of 16 on Monday to seal a spot in the last eight.
Cameroon has also recorded similar performances in the tournament after emerging Group A winners and defeating Comoros Islands 2-1 in the team’s round of 16 game.
The winner of the game between the two nations will clash with the winner of the quarterfinal fixture between record seven time holders Egypt and 1976 winners, Morocco at the semifinals.
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